The St. Louis Regional Chamber announced at their annual meeting Thursday that Prosper Women Entrepreneurs and financial technology accelerator SixThirty will both receive $150,000 as part of a $1 million initiative through the Chamber’s Accelerate St. Louis. The additional $700,000 will go toward a sidecar fund that will help fund early-stage companies in the Greater St. Louis area.
“SixThirty, despite just starting in the last year, has already made a crucial impact on the entrepreneurial community in St. Louis, and Prosper has the potential to play an equally important role here,” said Jay DeLong, Vice President for New Ventures and Capital Formation at the Chamber. “This investment into these St. Louis accelerators is another one of many small steps that will help make St. Louis a go-to destination for building a startup.”
The funding will come in handy. Prosper will invest $50,000 in 12 different companies annually, with the first class of companies expected to start the accelerator program in January. SixThirty invests $100,000 in eight different companies annually, with four different companies starting the program twice a year. SixThirty’s first cohort from Fall 2013 includes the now-recognizable Upside and Hedgeable. WealthAccess, from SixThirty’s Spring 2014 cohort, has also made headlines recently.
Prosper and SixThirty are two of only a handful of accelerator programs in the St. Louis area geared toward building and strengthening the startup community. These accelerator programs, unlike traditional venture capital firms, provide ample networking and mentoring opportunities, and in many cases provide other amenities such as office space. Although many companies that apply to these programs aren’t from the metropolitan area, they are generally asked to relocate for the duration of the program.
For more information about Prosper, visit: http://www.prosperstl.com/.
For more information about SixThirty, visit: http://www.sixthirty.co/.